Without a doubt, Sir Alex Ferguson will go down in history as one of the greatest football managers of all time, but his dealings in the transfer market have always been under close scrutiny.
For every Roy Keane or Cristiano Ronaldo there has been a host of catastrophic failures that have taken to the Old Trafford pitch during Fergie’s reign.
Here I list five of Fergie’s most impressive transfer clangers.
“So good they named him twice,” the old song goes. If only it were true.
Brought in from Nantes in 2005 as a possible replacement for long-serving talisman Roy Keane, but the Cameroonian international failed to live up to his billing, mustering up a measly 20-odd first-team appearances during his two-year stay, showing only glimpses of the form that earned him a dream move managing two goals.
His aggressive midfield style earned him negative remarks from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, among others, and he was soon shipped off to Aston Villa who coughed up the princely sum of £1.5m for his services. After his departure from Villa Park he continued his demise from football’s summit.
In 2007 he filed for bankruptcy, and is now plying his trade for Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Signed in 2010 after Fergie was sufficiently impressed by a video of the “boy wonder” strutting his stuff for Portuguese second division outfit Estrela to fork out £7m to bring him to Old Trafford.
He has since lined out for the first-team twice, shipped out on loan several times, but failing to make an impact on his return to the Red Devils - although his development has been hampered by an cruciate ligament
injury picked up while on loan at Turkish Super Lig side Besiktas in 2011.
Currently on loan at Portuguese Primera Liga side Rio Ave, at 22, there is still hope for the former Portuguese wonder-kid to turn his career around.
How this man managed to obtain a World Cup winners medal and play for United beggars belief. Kleberson suffered a fate like many before him, he simply failed to make the transition from the South American to the English game.
Supposedly an industrious attacking midfielder, he scored a pitiful two goals during his time with the Manchester giants.
He is currently rounding of his footballing demise with MLS franchise Philadelphia Union after mediocre spells in Turkey and his native Brazil. Most certainly one to forget.
Probably the lowest point in Ferguson’s eternal struggle to replace the ever-reliable Peter Schmeichel, the Italian was “continental” in his approach to goalkeeping, letting in only 12 goals in his four first-team appearances.
He was soon heading for the Old Trafford exit door, returning back to Italy where he became only the second goalkeeper to score a Serie A goal.
Shame about everything else, though.
Supposedly United’s answer to Thierry Henry, after he arrived from Sunderland among much furore, but apart from being French and really fast the comparisons end there, with dry spells in front of goal a regular occurrence during his time at Old Trafford, managing a measly four goals in three years.
A short loan spell to West Ham also proved barren, after which he returned to his home country where, apparently, goals are easier to come by.
Currently turning out for Bordeaux, he has scored 20 goals in just over 100 games.
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